How to Create Visual Content For Instagram When Your Product Can’t Be Seen

By now, it’s no secret to marketers that the visual trumps the written. According to a study by Hubspot, visual content generates a staggering 94 percent more views than text alone, and most audiences don’t read more than 20 percent of a webpage.

A picture really is worth a thousand words.

With the emphasis on visual content and the availability of tools to create high quality photos and graphics, platforms like Instagram have come to dominate social media marketing.

Of course, when you’re selling rainbow bagels or lip kits, Instagram marketing is easily done. The stunning photos basically take themselves. But what if you’re an insurance company?  It takes a little more creativity and strategy.

But don’t write off Instagram just because you don’t have a sexy or even tangible product to sell. With the highest engagement rates of any social media platform, Instagram is too valuable for any marketer to ignore, regardless of their industry. Take some tips from these B2B business Instagram case studies and learn how to create a killer visual presence for your brand.


Lesson 1: Learn how to visualize your brand voice

Fido, a Canada-based personal communications service provider, sought to boost brand recognition among millennials. To do this, they latched on to the word “Curious.” They developed a series of ads using the hashtag #getcurious.

The ads, which featured millennial smartphone users, may have been for technology services, but the tone of these ads clearly invoked whimsy, curiosity and possibility with the use of somewhat abstract imagery featuring clouds, doves and plenty of sunlight.


Lesson 2: Show your audience themselves

salesforce ad
Photo credit: Facebook for business

Salesforce had a tricky question to answer: how do you market marketing services to marketers? The CRM provider wanted to raise awareness about its annual Dreamforce Conference among young professionals. The obvious answer would be to use photos from the previous year’s conference. But Salesforce had a different idea.

It’s no surprise that people like to see themselves, so Salesforce decided to create a campaign that featured individuals that their target audience could easily identify with. They used Instagram’s targeting tools as well as their own attendee demographics from the past year to create four visualized personas – developer, marketer, saleswoman and salesman – and then used these to create Instagram ads.


Lesson 3: Use visuals to tell a story

Capital One is a great example of a brand with a hard product to visually market. Financial services don’t lend themselves to pretty pictures. But the brand found a way to take a complex offering and boil it down to its most basic, visual element: the wallet. Reimaging their slogan, “What’s in your wallet”, the brand did so much more than just create a visual.

They built out a whole photo series that paired visual images of their customer’s wallets with compelling stories in the description, and boosted audience engagement in the process.


Here’s the takeaway

Visual marketing is about more than just pretty pictures of your product. Instagram can help you create a visual presence for your brand, your audience and your corporate story.


5 Steps to Achieve a Professional Instagram Feed


[Image via:]

Haven’t you always dreamed of having the perfect instagram feed for your brand? Your brand has already decided on a uniform theme based on our previous post #instathemes, now its time to create quality content with a professional touch. Having a theme means you have identified your brand’s personality and target audience on Instagram. Now, all you need to do is make sure your content is as high quality as possible in order to attract your potential customers. After all, Instagram is all about high quality visuals.

A professional looking feed will give your brand more credibility. Unfortunately, not all of us are professional photographers and it can be costly to hire one. A platform like Instagram is free, therefore you shouldn’t have to spend money in order to use it well. Luckily, Instagram has been around long enough that people have discovered tips and tricks to give your photos and videos a professional feel without the dollar sign. Supplementary apps are a great way to enhance your photos and videos even more. This post will take a deeper look into how to perfectly capture and edit your photos and videos like a professional. Us marketing gurus here at #doitforthegram have compiled 5 steps to take your content to the next level.

Step 1: Lighting

If available, natural light should always be utilized even if it means shooting by the window or outside in the cold. The following picture was taken in freezing weather but the lighting was worth it. As you can see the subject is wearing two outfits in this picture. This savvy photo edit couldn’t have been done without natural light. Lighting is very important to keep in mind especially if you plan on altering your photo. In general, when using any light, make sure the source of light hits your subject directly. This step will make the following steps turn out better!


[Image via:]

Step 2: Filters

When it comes to filters, remember, more does not necessarily mean better. Sometimes pictures appear more professional when less filters are used. According to a report by TrackMaven, most brands do not use filters at all. According to the chart below, the brands that do use filters tend to stick with Lo-fi and X-Pro II, probably because they give photos a warm look with the use of saturated tones. Although these filters make photos pop, they do not generate the most interactions. Mayfair and Inkwell actually generate the most interactions on Instagram in the form of likes and comments. Next time you choose a filter, make sure it is getting the right attention from your audience. The last thing you want is for your visuals to turn potential customers away.


[Image via: Track Maven]

Step 3: White Background

There is nothing like a blank background to really make your subject stand out. Busy backgrounds distract your audience and clutters your feed. It seems that more and more brands are using white or plain backgrounds to showcase their products. Whether it is a model against a white wall or cosmetic products arranged on a white marble bathroom counter, this trick gives your photos a simple yet professional appearance. J. Crew does a wonderful job of using white space to give their feed a chic feel and a little breathing room.


Step 4: Angles

There are many ways to play around with angles in order to capture the perfect moment in creative ways. Angles can either accentuate or disguise certain aspects of your subject matter depending on what you need. Vogue outlined how angles can enhance your photos. When taking pictures of objects, try taking the picture from the top down perspective. This will allow you to fit many objects into the frame and you can arrange them in ways to show the proportions of your objects. If you are taking pictures of food and drinks, it’s usually best to take the picture from side angles so show dimension and texture. If your subject is a person and you’d like to elongate legs, try an upward angle. On the other hand, if you want slim down certain features, try a downward angle. The picture below, posted by National Geographic, shows how switching up angles can really capture something special.


Step 5: Boomerang

Now you know how to make your photos look professional, but what about your video content? That’s where supplementary apps come into play. Boomerang is a video app recently launched by instagram. It essentially takes bursts of photos and combines them into a mini video that plays forward and backward over and over again. Using this app will not only enhance your videos, but it will keep your brand relevant. Benefit was quick to incorporate boomerang into their feed and used the app to perfectly showcase their mascara. Check it out below!

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink 😉 Who else is playing with #boomerang today!? #benefit

A video posted by Benefit Cosmetics US (@benefitcosmetics) on Oct 22, 2015 at 4:20pm PDT



So there you have it! Five easy steps to give your feed a professional feel without the high price tag! If you follow these steps, you will find that it is not anything revolutionary. In fact, it’s all about bringing your feed back to the basics. Simplicity is key when trying to achieve a professional look. As long as you keep keep your theme consistent with your target audience in mind, these tricks are sure to attract the right attention!

What tricks do you use to give your feed a professional look? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @hashtag4thegram.